How to change your gender status on formal documents

3 February 2021

A resource for trans and gender diverse young people and their families in Tasmania

This fact sheet answers some common questions trans and gender diverse young people, and their families, have about self-identification on formal documents.

Choices around self-identification should be respected. By reading this resource you will get a better understanding of the options in Tasmania.

It includes:

  • changing your birth certificate
  • changing your passport, Centrelink and Medicare records
  • changing your driver’s license

  Not in Tasmania?

This resource is also available for:

VIC | NSW | QLD | SA | ACT | NT | TAS | WA

Can you change your gender status on formal documents?

In most formal documents, yes. However different documents have different requirements and different gender identity options.

Unfortunately some trans and gender diverse people may have limited ability to change their gender status on some formal documents.

What steps are involved with making a change?

The steps for applying to change your gender status on formal documents differs depending on whether the document you would like to change is issued by:

1. a state or territory government organisation

OR

2. a federal government organisation

See how you can change key documents below.

How to change the gender on your birth certificate

Birth certificates are issued and regulated at a state and territory level. This means that the approach to changing your birth certificate to match your gender identity will be different depending on which state or territory your certificate was issued in. In Tasmania, this is managed by the Tasmanian Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages.

However, there is a general requirement that a clinical treatment of some kind must have occurred in order to change the legal sex on your birth certificate. There is no longer any requirement for a person to have had gender affirming surgery in order to change their record of sex in Tasmania.

In Tasmania, you can apply to ‘record a change of sex’ if:

  • you are aged 16 years or older, or your parent/s or guardian/s are applying on your behalf; and
  • your birth is registered in Tasmania.

Does age matter? 

Yes. Young people over the age of 16 years can make an application directly whereas your parents or guardians will need to make the application on your behalf if you are under 16 years. If you are under 18 years then you may be asked to provide evidence that you have undertaken counselling about whether to lodge an application and the implications of registering your gender.  

If you are under 16, you will need to ask your parents or guardians to make the application 

As stated above, if you are under 16 years old then you can register your gender on your birth certificate through an application made by your parents or guardians (it’s not possible to make an application to change your name by yourself until you are over 18). 

How can you, or your parents or guardians, apply to register your gender? 

You can apply by filling out the gender registration form and providing this to the Tasmanian Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages with the required supporting documentation.  The types of supporting documentation that you need to provide vary depending on your age and are listed in the form To find the form, see ‘Where to Get Help and Information’ below. 

If you are under 16 yearsyou will need to sign a declaration confirming that the application being made by your parents to register your gender is consistent with your will and preference (see section 2 of the form ‘Application to register your child’s gender – Under 16 years’).   

If you are under 16, both parents listed on your birth certificate must fill out the form unless: 

  • There is only a sole parent named on your birth certificate; 
  • The other parent has passed away; or 
  • The registration of gender is approved by a magistrate 

If you have a guardian or guardians with parental responsibility, they need to fill out the application form. 

There are fees associated with applying to register your gender. The price as of December 2020 is $196.02. This does not include the cost of a certificate.   

See ‘Where to Get Help and Information’ for more details.

How to change your gender on federal government documents, such as your passport, and Medicare or Centrelink records

You can change your gender on federal formal documents or records by applying to the agency that looks after the document or record that you want to change.

There are Australian Government Guidelines on recognising gender (see the link further below under ‘Where to Get Help and Information’). This means that:

  • Federal departments and agencies must take all reasonable steps to correct the gender information in their records to make sure it is accurate, up-to-date, and not misleading

AND

  • You can apply to federal agencies, such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Services Australia, directly to change your gender on your personal record, or as shown on your passport

Do you need to provide supporting documentation?

Under the Australian Government Guidelines, you need to provide one of the following with your request for a change of your recorded gender:

  • A statement from a registered medical practitioner or registered psychologist which specifies your gender
  • A state or territory gender recognition certificate or recognised details certificate showing a change in sex
  • A valid Australian government travel document, such as a valid passport, which specifies your gender
  • A state or territory birth certificate which specified your gender, or a document from an Australian Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages recognising a change of gender.

You do not need to have had surgery and/or hormone therapy for the recognition of a change of gender in federal government records. This means that even though you may not have any related medical procedures, you can still apply to correct the gender information recorded on your personal record. See the Australian Government Guidelines.

 

Document Department What you need to do
Your Medicare card Services Australia Attend a Medicare Service Centre in person and provide one of the above documents outlined in the Australian Government Guidelines
Your Centrelink file Services Australia Attend a Centrelink Service Centre in person and provide one of the above documents outlined in the Australian Government Guidelines
Your passport Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade For both a new passport and/or to change your gender on an existing passport, you need to start the application process online and then print it for lodgement.

For this application, you must also provide one of the documents outlined in the Australian Government Guidelines.

If you are in the process of transitioning, you can provide a statement from a registered medical practitioner or psychologist that you have had or are receiving appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. This should be provided on DFAT’s ‘Declaration: sex/gender of passport applicant form’.

 

Will every application and outcome be the same?

No. The different departments may have different application forms and therefore varied outcomes around changing your gender identification.

What’s an example?

Services Australia can update your gender as male or female for their personal records system. If you identify as non-binary, they can only add a note on your personal record about this. You can also tell them you prefer not to use a courtesy title such as Miss, Mr or Ms.

Whereas…

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides for the recognition of your gender as M (male), F (female), or X (indeterminate/intersex/unspecified) on your passport. However, the Department notes that those travelling with a passport showing ‘X’ may encounter difficulties when crossing borders due to its infrequent use. In more conservative countries or areas you may become the focus of unwanted attention.

How to change the gender on your driver’s licence

The steps involved with changing your driver’s licence will vary depending on the state or territory that you live in.

What you need to do in Tasmania

You must provide Transport Tasmania with copies of official documentation, such as your amended birth certificate, when applying to change the recorded gender on your Tasmanian licence.

Where to get help and more information

This resource was published 03/02/2021. This is legal information only and does not constitute legal advice. You should always contact a lawyer for advice specific to your situation.

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